Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships
Ex-Cat Quigley to face last year's runner-up in 1st round
Former Kentucky star Eric Quigley will face last year's runner-up, James Duckworth of Australia, at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the first round of the Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships at UK's Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.
Quigley, a 25-year-old PeeWee Valley native, was a five-time All-American at UK who has been playing the pro circuit the past two years. Duckworth is a seasoned professional player, who took No. 14 Richard Gasquet of France to five sets before losing in the first round of Wimbledon last month.
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"It should be a good match," said Dennis Emery, special assistant to UK's athletic director and Quigley's former coach. "Quigley has had a productive month and should be coming in with some momentum and confidence."
Their match will be followed by last year's singles winner, James Ward of Great Britain, taking on 17-year-old American Jared Donaldson. The young Rhode Island native is coming off of three consecutive Future titles this year and is ranked 343rd. As a 16-year-old he advanced to the finals of USTA Boys 18 National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich., and to the third round in qualifying for the 2013 US Open.
Donaldson has developed his game in a less-than-traditional manner. His father wanted him to learn to structure points, so they moved to Argentina for two years in his mid-teens to play on the red clay.
"Playing on the clay teaches you patience and to slow down and construct a point rather than just playing offense," said Tom Gullikson, USTA lead national coach, men's tennis. "I think he has a bright future on the ATP tour. He certainly is one of the top 17-year-olds in the world."
He will face stiff competition in Ward, currently ranked 152nd.
■ All three local players in the women's qualifying draw were knocked out in the first round on Sunday.
Tangerine Manning, a 42-year-old from Lexington, lost 6-2, 6-1 to Petra Rampre, the No. 2 seed in qualifying. Junior player Madeline Rolph was defeated 6-2, 6-1 by Marina Shamayko of Russia. Rolph, a rising senior from Sayre, is one of the top juniors in the state. UK's Edmée Morin-Kougoucheff lost 6-1, 6-3 to American Alexandra Mueller.
Ko wins LPGA event with closing birdie
Now that she's officially a millionaire, Lydia Ko joked she'll have to keep a closer watch on where her paychecks go.
"I'll probably see that going into my mom's account," she said with a laugh, referring to the $210,000 she got for winning Sunday's Marathon Classic at Sylvania, Ohio.
The 17-year-old broke free from a late tie with So Yeon Ryu, hitting a wedge to 4 feet for birdie on the 72nd hole to take the lead. Then she tried in vain — she's just 5-foot-5 — to see past the large gallery at 18 as Ryu missed a 6-foot birdie putt on the final hole that would have forced a playoff.
"I couldn't see it properly. I was behind some people," she said after her second LPGA Tour victory that matched the two Canadian Open titles she won as an amateur. "But I kind of could tell what happened by the crowd's reaction."
She became the youngest player to top $1 million in career earnings on the LPGA Tour. Ko is roughly 17 months younger than Lexi Thompson, previously the youngest. Ko has shown incredible consistency in her rookie year on tour, making the cut in all 15 tournaments she's entered. She has six top-10 finishes in addition to her wins, with five of those being top-fives.
Ryu had poured in a big-breaking, 25-foot birdie putt on the 17th to pull even. But then Ko stuck her approach at the par-5 closing hole and calmly rolled in the birdie putt for a 6-under 65 that left her at 15-under 269. Ryu hit a brilliant third shot to the green, but pushed her 6-footer at the 18th.
"Absolutely I'm disappointed I missed (that) birdie putt," she said. "Sometimes if I get something lucky, then I get something that is unlucky. I just accept it and let it go."
■ Steve Wheatcroft rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat Steven Alker and win the Albertsons Boise Open on Sunday in Idaho.
The pair battled back and forth at Hillcrest Country Club and were tied at 24 under after regulation play. Wheatcroft watched as Alker's 30-foot birdie try stopped a couple feet short of the cup and then stepped up and made his putt.
"This is unbelievable. I'm just speechless," said the 36-year old from Jacksonville, Fla., who won for the second time in his career. "I've been playing so badly this year that I thought I might be done. I lost all belief."
Wheatcroft rediscovered his game at last week's Utah championship where he finished tied for 21st after opening with rounds of 65-66.
"There's something about this place," said Wheatcroft, runner-up to Luke Guthrie here in 2012.
"It started to sink in a few weeks ago that if I didn't start playing better I'd have to find something else to do. I knew I had to keep fighting and I had some good tournaments ahead of me. I really thought I was going to win this week."
Rookie Justin Thomas, a St. Xavier graduate, put a charge on late and posted a 65 to reach 22 under, good for third place.
Canaan scores 24 in Rockets' summer win
Former Murray State star Isaiah Canaan was 8-for-17 from the field, including three three-pointers, and finished with a team-high 24 points in the Houston Rockets' 83-79 Las Vegas Summer League victory against the Charlotte Hornets.
The Rockets, which also got 18 points and 13 rebounds from Donatas Motiejunas, will face the Sacramento Kings in the championship game on Monday. The Kings defeated the Washington Wizards 74-62 in their semifinal matchup.
Tour de France
Kristoff wins Stage 15; Nibali maintains lead
Alexander Kristoff of Norway captured his second stage win of this year's Tour de France by leading home a pack that overtook two breakaway riders with only about 50 meters to go in a dramatic finish to Stage 15 on Sunday.
Vincenzo Nibali of Italy, having made sure that his main rivals couldn't claw back any time, finished smoothly in the trailing pack to keep the overall leader's yellow jersey.
After two days in the Alps, Sunday's stage offered some relief over a flat 222 kilometers (138 miles) from Tallard, southeast France's parachuting capital, toward the city of Nimes — known for its Roman arena and bullfighting.
Minor league baseball
Sand Gnats sweep doubleheader vs. Legends
John Gant pitched a one-hit shutout to lead Savannah to a 5-0 win over Lexington in the first game of a doubleheader Sunday in Savannah. The Sand Gnats completed the sweep with a 3-1 victory in the second game. The Sand Gnats have taken the first three games of the series, which concludes Monday.
The last word
LPGA golfer Lydia Ko, a 17-year-old who went into Sunday's round vowing to shoot a 65, did just that en route to the victory. After she collected the routine over-sized cardboard check, she pondered what she might do now that she's a millionaire:
"I may do one of those teenage things — like getting something electronic."